ISTP Depression (A complete guide)

In this brief guide, we will look at the personality type of ISTP and depression.

ISTP Depression

The ISTP in depression can be quite likely to prefer being by themselves, as they love their own company more than anything else, and when they are in depression their tendency to isolate themselves might be increased.

However, depressed people need to be around people more so than others, so this tendency of the ISTP to isolate themselves might actually work against them when they alienate themselves from others. 

ISTPs in depression might have more of a tendency to not focus on their emotions, and they may actively ignore them sometimes too, which may make for some extremely problematic situations.

The ISTP in depression might become bitter and sad and feel lonely and frustrated at the same time, but they may not know exactly why they are even feeling that way, and as a result, they may start to push others away because they might be hoping that this will somehow aid them in figuring out what is actually going on.

ISTPs need support when they are depressed as much as anyone else, but they need it from a distance because of just how independent and private they are, and how much they want to keep their emotional states to themselves.

The ISTP in depression may get very annoyed and lash out if someone tries to force them to talk or smothers them, and in the case of ISTP, it will only make their mental health worse because they won’t enjoy snapping or getting annoyed anymore than the other person will.

The ISTP in depression will care more about whether or not their loved ones are there for them, and whether they can trust them when the time comes to open up.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Features of the ISTP Personality and Depression

ISTP stands for Introverted, Observant, Thinking, and Prospecting or Perceiving personality, and this personality type is also known as the Virtuoso and may be characterized by their tendency to be individualistic pursuing goals in a driven manner.

Carl Jung proposed a theory of personality where he laid stress on the cognitive functions in the person and how that affects their behavior and personality in an observable way. He spoke of 4 main cognitive functions that could make 8 total combinations depending on whether they were oriented towards the outer or inner world.

The Myers Briggs test is based on this theory, and ISTP is a personality type from this very theory, and if someone wants to find out their MBTI personality type, they may simply do so here.

The ISTP may engage with life in a manner that encompasses a combination of inquisitiveness and personal skill, and they may also be open to changing their approach as needed, which is a good sill when they are depressed as they may be open to trying new approaches to get better and work with their therapist to do so.

The ISTP is also very curious and may love to explore the world around them, specifically in ways that involve all the senses, and engage their hands and body in some way.

As a result, the ISTP may thoroughly enjoy making things or taking things apart with their hands in order to figure out how they work, and they may have very tactile or involved styles of learning. 

The ISTP may also have a very rational approach to things and when exploring their environment they may show an innate curiosity to engage in the environment.

While this is a great ability and one that may help a therapist or mental health worker figure out alternative therapies for the depressed ISTP should the traditional ones not work well; it may also pose a problem because this tactile form of learning means that the ISTP may not be as in touch with their inner emotions and they may have difficulty figuring out what abstract issues are going on with them.

The ISTP is also rather creative, creating things and building things on their own, and they may often move from project to project, and this is another thing that may provide a way to get through to them when they are depressed.

They may also like learning from their environment a lot and they like getting their hands dirty to understand things, rather than the thinking and analyzing approach a lot of thinkers take, and due to this, they may often make great mechanics and engineers.

The ISTP personality type may also be very interested in solving puzzles or interacting with the puzzles on hand in some way, and they may have very tactile and interactive learning styles, and they may often get lost in things like that for ages.

ISTPs are also quite enigmatic and they tend to be private which is why it might be hard to get to know them and may take a long time, which does not do them any favors when they are depressed as they may sometimes feel lonely and isolated when they should have more people around.

The ISTP also has the ability to be spontaneous and impulsive, especially when they have been quiet for a long time and been going on with the routine, their impulsive energy may suddenly break out, sometimes even in unhealthy ways.

Routine and regularity of any kind is something else the ISTP hates, and if they are somehow caught in schedules and so on, the ISTP can get depressed very quickly but they might externalize their negativity and act outwardly rather than suffer in silence.

The ISTP personality, being high on the cognitive function or sense, may also be susceptible to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as it has been seen that sensing and perceiving links are linked to the symptoms of this disorder.

This puts the ISTP at risk for depression as well, as a few studies have found that people with ADHD are at more risk for depression and most people with ADHD suffered from a depressive episode at some point in their lives.

Agitated and Masked Depression and ISTP personality

Agitated and masked depression are two subtypes of depression that are not often discussed and this is one reason why many people are not aware of these two forms depression can take.

Agitated and masked depression are discussed in the context of ISTP personality because this personality type may be susceptible to these types of depression, based on the cognitive functions they use and their characteristics.

However, this proposed relationship is a hypothetical one, and is not based on any evidence, 

Agitated Depression

According to Healthline, “Agitated depression is a type of depression that involves symptoms like restlessness and anger. People who experience this type of depression usually don’t feel lethargic or slowed-down.”

“Agitated depression used to be called “melancholia agitata.” It’s now known as “mixed mania” or “mixed features.” And it can be seen in people with bipolar disorder. But, psychomotor agitation can also be seen in major depressive disorder. This condition makes a person appear restless.”

It is important to distinguish between Bipolar disorder and Agitated depression, as in Bipolar depression there are cycles of elevation and depression, whereas in Agitated depression low mood is present, but there is also psychomotor disturbance.

Agitated depression symptoms according to the above-mentioned website are as follows:

  • extreme irritability, like snapping at friends and family, or being annoyed at small things
  • anger
  • agitation
  • fidgeting
  • racing thoughts and incessant talking
  • restlessness
  • pacing
  • hand-wringing
  • nail-biting
  • outbursts of complaining or shouting
  • pulling at clothes or hair
  • picking at skin
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite loss or increase in appetite

Agitated depression will also consist of some of the symptoms of clinical depression or major depressive disorder, like the typical low mood and lack of motivation to do things, but they will not be as pronounced as the above-mentioned features.

Agitated depression is also extremely dangerous for two reasons, the first being that people, even the patient, may not recognize that they are depressed, and two, people suffering from agitated depression are more likely to harm themselves.

ISTP has been mentioned as being more at risk for ADHD due to their sensing and perceiving traits, and they are also at risk for agitated depression for the same reasons, because they may subconsciously deal with the depression in ISTP ways of exploring the outer environment rather than looking at inner thought processes that may be causing it.

Masked Depression

Masked Depression is not included yet in a lot of classifications, but psychiatry tomes like Fish’s clinical psychopathology talk about this condition and therefore it may be assumed that it exists in most populations.

Masked Depression is just depression that is not clear to the person and those around them because it does not present in the typical manner where the person does not want to leave the bed and just does not want to do anything and keeps crying all the time, Masked Depression is very atypical in its presentation and that is why it is so important to see a doctor or clinical psychologist check yourself out.

According to PsychCentral, it may be that depression is:

  • hidden. “I’m so busy with work and have no time for social activities.” Or, “I’m a social butterfly and hate it when I’m alone.’
  • faked. “I’m feeling fine. Just a bit stressed.”
  • displaced by anger. “There’s nothing wrong with me. Just get off my back and leave me alone.”
  • masked by addiction (drugs, alcohol, food, sex). “I just need a drink to help me relax. Yeah, well tonight one drink didn’t do the job. So, I needed a few. No big deal.”

The worst kind of masked depression, which is the most dangerous, is the last one, which involves risky behavior and impulsive activities, and sadly that is the one that an ISTP might often suffer form, as they have an extroverted sensing function and they are more likely to act out on the outside rather than ponder the meaning of their existence.

How to help a Depressed ISTP?

To help a depressed ISTP you may try the following things:

  • Since they are so interested in building things and doing things by hand, try to get something you can build together.
  • You may also explore other tactile things to do, like pottery or working with clay in some way.
  • Another thing an ISTP in depression may like to do is solve puzzles.
  • You may also see about getting the ISTP in depression, some weighted blankets or comfortable clothes.
  • You may try to fix up their living space in a way that appeals to their senses, maybe introduce some new colors, some new scents, or just some rearranging; just make sure you get their permission first because they may hate you barging in without it.
  • Try to get them interested in therapy.
  • Just hang around without bugging them to talk.


In this brief guide, we look at the personality type of ISTP and depression. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and comments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ISTP Depression

Can Istp be emotional?

Yes, ISTP can be emotional, as they have an introverted feeling function.

ISTPs experience emotions just like anyone else, and they may actually experience emotions even more intensely precisely because they want to avoid emotions so much. 

What makes Istp happy?

Being by themselves makes the ISTP happy, in fact being given the freedom to be alone and doing their own thing may make the ISTP happier than anything else.

The ISTP also loves to work with their hands, so engaging in any activity that enamors their senses will make the ISTP very happy.

What does Istp hate?

Here are some things the ISTP Hates

Lack of change
Theoretical things and no practicality
Dealing with emotions and drama
Feeling stuck, trapped, or stifled
Not getting enough space
Rigid rules, and unnecessary bureaucracy.
People overthinking things


International Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders 10

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!